What Is A Good Leader?

Decent Essays
Roopam Garg

What is a good leader? What does it mean to be a good leader? Echoing the words of one of my mentors, Sean Paul Godeá: “A good leader is a servant, one who steps back to help and inspire others to reach their full potential”. This philosophy is one that I embrace dearly. A leader is not the alpha; he creates the alpha within others. The book ‘Learning To Listen’, written by Gary Burton, is an autobiographical account of his life and musical journey. In the book, Burton enlightens the reader, who is probably an aspiring musician or entrepreneur, of the significant experiences, acquaintances and struggles he has experienced, and how it has impacted the person who he is today. In doing so, Burton’s book explores the concept of leadership, which is brought to the reader in more ways than one. In this essay, I shall further analyze the concept of leadership, through both personal anecdotes and events that occur within Burton’s book.

Firstly, one of the admirable qualities of a great leader is his/her ability to act accordingly in a way that benefits and showcases the entire group, not just themselves. For example, this idea is explored in Burton’s book, when he describes how it is important to “listen to the drummer”, and to “let the drummer be in charge of the time feel”, and how you should not “try to lead the band when you solo.” (Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton: An Autobiography (Kindle Locations 387-388). Berklee Press. Kindle
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